For us, the very best barbecue on the planet comes from central Texas. Others might imagine a distinct area makes higher barbecue, and people individuals are mistaken. 😉
Lockhart, the last word barbecue vacation spot of Texas, is located 35 miles southeast of Austin, the place the best smoked meat is served with perfection. It’s been named by the state as The Barbecue Capital of Texas.
There are different locations the place you’ll discover nice meat. Texas Month-to-month publishes an inventory of the High 50 BBQ spots within the state, which incorporates areas like Franklin’s in Austin, nevertheless it’s solely in Lockhart that you just’ll discover 4 areas that declare that they’ve the very best barbecue.
Doing a barbecue tour of Lockhart isn’t straightforward. Every location serves a tempting number of smoked meats and aspect dishes. Sharon and I visited the city beforehand and have been solely capable of go to one location and pattern just a few forms of meat earlier than we had had our fill and headed again to our resort.
This time we got here ready. Our group of 6 foodies went out on a Friday afternoon, decided to see the very best that every location needed to supply.
We arrived at our first cease round 11:30 AM. Google Maps led us to a gravel car parking zone behind a brick constructing. There was no mistaking we have been in the correct place as soon as we opened the automobile door and a smoky aroma was in every single place.
When you stroll within the again door from the car parking zone, you’ll enter straight into the room with the pit.
You order all the meats by the pound (you don’t have to order a full pound, ordering 1/4 or 1/2 pound parts is okay) and the counter solely accepts money. There’s an ATM positioned close to the checkout.
What does one of many pits appear to be? We have been allowed to take a peek inside.
When you’ve paid to your meat, you possibly can sit down within the eating room. That is additionally the place you’ll discover the counter the place you buy drinks, sides and Blue Bell ice cream. The room was crammed with a combination of locals and vacationers.
Whereas the brisket is what Texas barbecue is most well-known for, Smitty’s had one thing on the menu we actually needed to attempt, smoked prime rib.
It’s frequent for barbecue in Texas to be served on butcher paper with a aspect of white bread (or crackers) and pickles. We additionally ordered a pork chop, turkey and brisket.
The star of the meal was the prime rib, which was wonderful. I’ve since began smoking prime rib for particular events at house and it’s great. The massive shock was the turkey. When you’d suppose it’d dry out, it was moist and had a beautiful smoky taste.
From right here, we determined to stroll round earlier than heading to our subsequent cease. Across the again of Smitty’s, you possibly can see what it takes to run a barbecue place every single day. Tons and plenty of wooden stacked neatly into piles and drying out within the Texas solar.
After an hour or so, we felt that we’d digested sufficient to move to location #2.
At first look, Black’s appears extra like what you’d count on a Texas barbecue place to appear to be. It’s additionally set as much as be simply approachable when you’ve by no means been to a standard barbecue place earlier than. You enter the entrance door, get in line and head by way of the method of choosing out what you need. Think about a Chipotle, however as an alternative of burritos, it’s brisket.
Black’s serves a number of basic aspect dishes. We stayed away from most of them as a result of we needed to save lots of room for as a lot meat as attainable.
There’s additionally a number of branded sauces and rubs on the market. From there, you’re led to the meat counter. Simply as earlier than, all purchases are by the pound. Black’s additionally serves sandwiches, when you’re so inclined.
Simply previous that is the checkout the place you possibly can add a drink to your order. The massive distinction is that Black’s accepts bank cards.
Black’s affords a menu merchandise not discovered on the different locations, so we needed to attempt the meat rib. Every rib weighs round 1 pound.
We additionally ordered the jalapeno cheddar sausage, barbecue hen, brisket and ribs.
Not like the butcher paper, our meals have been put in styrofoam containers and we got paper plates to divide every thing up between the group. Most of us ate outdoors however I discovered the flies to be overly bothersome so I went inside to eat. There was the primary eating room adjoining to the doorway and an overflow seating space within the subsequent room, which can also be the place the bogs are.
The brisket and sausage have been nice and the meat rib was far more tender than I’d imagined it might be. Fall off the bone and pull aside along with your fork sort of tender.
At this level, all of us have been stuffed and wanted a nap. Nonetheless, for the sake of completeness, we needed to head to a 3rd location.
619 N Colorado St
Lockhart, TX 78644
If Smitty’s was the native joint and Black’s designed for the vacationers, then Kreuz is the megastore. The place is very large.
This was one of many eating areas nevertheless it wasn’t air-conditioned. It was August and HOT, so we sat within the different eating room, which had the A/C on and was cooler. There’s a door as you stroll to the pit space going into the eating room. We headed down the corridor.
The pit space right here is large, with a number of of the people who smoke going on the similar time.
Whereas we have been all full, there was one factor on the menu that we needed to attempt. I current to you, smoked pork stomach (AKA, Meat sweet)
This was so good that it was value taking myself from comfortably full to uncomfortably full. In spite of everything of this consuming, I didn’t need to take into consideration meals once more for fairly some time.
There’s one other barbeque place in Lockhart referred to as Chisholm Path BBQ. We have been approach too full to offer them a attempt however possibly subsequent time we’ll get to test them out.
We’ve lastly been capable of do Lockhart accurately and visited the three fundamental areas. Going with a bigger group is the way in which to go because you’ll be capable to attempt way more than when you’re attempting to do it solo or as a pair.
Listed here are my awards for the journey
- Neatest thing I ate all day – Smoked Prime Rib at Smitty’s Market
- Most surprisingly good meat – Beef Rib at The Authentic Black’s Barbecue
- Most indulgent dish – Smoked Pork Stomach at Kreuz Market
When you’re ready, I’d attempt to cease by at the very least two areas when you go to Lockhart. Nonetheless, some individuals will need to cease by to attempt the barbecue and surprise which is the very best place they need to go to.
First off, I don’t suppose you’ll do badly at any of them. All of them make great smoky meats that may in all probability be the very best you’ve ever tried. Smoking meat is an artwork and a science and any variety of environmental or bodily variations may cause even the very best place to prove common (and even beneath common) barbecue on any given day.
For our tastes, if we needed to choose just one place, we’d go to Smitty’s Market. Apart from serving the very best single factor we ate, all the issues we tried there have been great. The pork chop, turkey and brisket have been all on level. It additionally had the very best vibe of the three. Consuming there felt like going to a neighborhood place that makes nice meals. Lengthy picnic-style tables the place everybody from the businessman in a shirt and tie, to the household out for the afternoon and the native sheriff all sit down and luxuriate in their meals. The one adverse was the cash-only coverage, so be ready when you’re headed there for some barbecue.
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